Durham neighborhood looking for changes after ‘suspicious incidents’


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – People who live in the Durham neighborhood where police said two young girls were attacked are demanding changes from the school district.

RELATED: 2 ‘suspicious incidents’ reported by 3 girls at Durham school bus stops

Just days after the attacks were reported, children were back outside in the neighborhood by Eastway Avenue and McNeil Street.

On Monday, the girls, ages 11 and 13, were at their bus stop when they said they were chased by a man who exited a brown or champagne-colored SUV.

L’tanya Gilchrist is a grandmother of two young kids who don’t go to school yet, but she still would like to be there for her community.

“I would be willing to be out there with them until the bus came,” Gilchrist said.

Some neighbors took it a step further and asked Durham Public Schools to get involved.

“Change the bus stop in the community for the safety of our kids,” Sheryl Smith said to the school board.

Smith spoke to the Durham School Board Thursday.

She said the bus stop is too far away from the neighborhood and without lights near it – too dark in the mornings.

“The school board and the police department and the Sheriff’s Department should come together and work together for these kids,” Smith said.

And that’s exactly what school board officials said they’re doing.

“Our security office will work with Durham Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department to see what can be done to make sure every stop is safe,” said Deputy Superintendent Hugh Osteen.

Osteen said if a change is determined to be needed, it could be made almost instantly.

The neighborhood was one of two that had similar incidents this week.

The second happened Wednesday about a mile away.

In that incident, a 13-year-old girl was alone at a bus stop when two men, one armed with a knife, walked out of the woods and grabbed her, according to police.

Police have not said the incidents are connected and have not released names of suspects.

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